Monday, November 19, 2012

Shepherd's Pie--Thanksgiving Leftover Remake

I hate to throw out food, so I am grateful for a family who willingly eats leftovers for lunch or, when we've got enough, for Leftover Night.  When I can turn leftovers into something completely different, it's a bonus.  When I can use 3 different leftovers in one new dish, it's a hat trick.

Making this the other night I scored a Leftover Hat Trick.  I had leftover mashed potatoes, from this dish.  I had leftover green beans, simply sautéed with a bit of bacon.  And my kid wanted grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch so I had half a can (prepared) of tomato soup left.

I did what any self-respecting frugal home cook would do.  I combined them all to make Shepherd's pie!  This may not be the Shepherd's pie of your childhood, but it very nearly is the shepherd's pie of mine, so try it.  You may like it!

My kids are not fans of green beans, but will eat them in this dish and take the obligatory bite of the World's Best Green Bean Casserole (they are even more non-fans of mushrooms than they are of green beans).  For them, I chop the beans pretty small in my shepherd's pie.

If I were feeding green bean and mushroom lovers, I'd try to combine the entire leftover WBGBC with the ground beef and seasonings--without the soup--top it with leftover mashed potatoes, and call it Post-Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie.  But for now, I'll stick with simply prepared beans and be happy when I hit the jackpot and the leftovers are as good as the original dishes they came from.

Try this if you happen to have 3 or 4 cups of leftover mashed potatoes, 1 1/2 to 2 cups of leftover green beans, and a can of tomato soup in the pantry.

What are your favorite ways to remake Thanksgiving leftovers into new meals?

Shepherd's Pie (like my mom made)

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
11/2 to 2 cups cooked green beans
1 can tomato soup (It's ok if you fix it and serve your kid some, just have at least a cup prepared soup)
1/4 cup water (omit if using prepared soup)
1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon French Thyme
3 to 4 cups mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and a large skillet over medium heat.  Brown ground beef, drain.  Add chopped onions to the beef and sauté until softened, another 5 minutes.  Dump beans, soup, water (if using condensed soup) and seasonings into skillet.  Stir to combine.  Turn into 2 qt or 10 inch round casserole.  Top with mashed potatoes.  Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until bubbly around the edges.  You can also bake this at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes.
This is shared on Food on Friday.


  1. Success on your hat trick! Taking three leftovers and making one fabulous dish that everyone loves. Yep, that's impressive.

    P.S. I like the look of your Tupperware.

    1. Meghan, it should not surprise you to know that my spouse (the one with the OCD tendencies) chose the new storage containers. Pyrex, though, since the Tupperware he (also) chose a decade or more ago had given up the ghost.